More than 200 Marine Corps unit leaders from across Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune attended the Warfighter Training Symposium at Marston Pavilion, Jan. 24.

The annual symposium informs leaders about the training opportunities, facilities and venues necessary to meet the requirements and provide tenant commands an opportunity to ask questions about the range complex capabilities, along with other significant issues.

According to Dale Kruse, the director of Range and Training Area Management (RTAM) with Marine Corps Installations East-MCB Camp Lejeune, the symposium not only informs unit leaders about the different training opportunities offered to service members and their units, but promotes communication between tenant commands and Camp Lejeune, regarding design and construction of more than 120,000 acres of range training areas.

“It is the small unit leader and unit leader’s responsibility to train their unit morally, mentally and physically to prepare for combat,” said 2nd Lt. Andrew Grothmann, the Weapons Platoon commander with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment. “Everything is training, and training is everything. Being able to utilize the assets the base has to offer is extremely important.”

The symposium addressed major efforts based on feedback from the 2018 symposium to improve existing ranges and design new ranges to meet tenant commands requirements. One of the new ranges, the company live-fire defensive range, allows units to conduct deliberate defense planning efforts, which may include digging actual fighting positions and integrating fire power.

According to Kruse, alongside the new ranges, there are additional training tools available, such as robotic targets. The robotic target is a four-wheeled automatic target system that has the ability to move in all directions, speeds and has artificial intelligence to respond to any environment, making it more challenging and realistic.

“The Marine Corps has gone through a substantial investment in modernizing the ranges that are available for the warfighter,” Kruse said. “In the last decade, the Marine Corps spent over $1 billion updating ranges, making them more interactive and realistic in the training environment. The goal is to provide the most realistic and best available training for the service member. These ranges are fairly high tech and very in depth as to the capabilities they have and the capabilities available for training. It is important to get this information out to the units so they can take advantage of them and utilize the range to its fullest extent possible.”

For more information on scheduling ranges, contact Range Control at (910) 451-3065/3066.